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I've decided to go grain free

post #1 of 31
Thread Starter 

My Paige is a very picky eater and will only eat cooked MEAT or wet food.  She picks at kibble.  But, my Phoebe has a sensitive system and cannot tolerate many wet cat foods.  She can tolerate the cooked meat and kibble the best.  After conversing with my veterinary school instructors, my own vet, and much research... I decided grain free is the best route to go for everyone involved. 

 

In the wild your cat's diet would consist of primarily meat based proteins, and the occasional fruit and vegetable. Grain was consumed very little. Grain has in fact been found to cause or irritate some pets allergies. Grain is also very hard to digest especially in aged pets.

Some of the benefits of feeding grain free (not limited to):

Shiny coat, decreased allergies, healthy skin, increased appetite in picky eaters, increased energy, ease in passing of stools, reduced stools and decrease in weight for obese cats. 

 

Paige LOVES the kibble now.. I am hoping she'll start putting on weight. I feel she is too thin. Phoebe's sensitive system is not bothered at all. 

Wellness(core) & Taste of the Wild seem to be their favorites so far! 


 

post #2 of 31

Hobo is eating Earthborn Holistic Wild Sea Catch. It is grain free and he loves it. I am however transitioning him to an all wet diet for better health for him. 

Do you mix those two kibbles or just buy small bags?

post #3 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobo08 View Post

Hobo is eating Earthborn Holistic Wild Sea Catch. It is grain free and he loves it. I am however transitioning him to an all wet diet for better health for him. 

Do you mix those two kibbles or just buy small bags?



I alternate between the two.  They get bored with the same one twice in a row... So, once I'll do the TOTW kibble (until the bag is finished) with canned chicken with no salt added and the next time, it will be Wellness Core, they get the kibble for "breakfast"... And their evening meal is medium cooked meat, usually chicken or turkey.   I wish I could give them canned or even pouched food but Phoebe was a nervous kitten.  She was the runt and her littermates terrorized her and when she was weened, her breeder put her in the nursery part of the cattery with other kittens and again she was the smallest and terrorized.  So like humans, her nervousness turned to ulcers-like things and now she still can't have gravies or sauces... They don't agree with her at all. 

 

post #4 of 31
Hooray for the grain-free change! I agree with you about the grain..

For the rotation, how about mixing them up in 1 meal? I do that & my kitten loves it! Currently, I am feeding him mixture of Felidae Pure Element & NV's Instinct.. I will switch the Felidae one to Pure Sea if they're finished, & decided to rotate the brand every 3-4months..

I would like to try Orijen & Pinnacles in the future.. They have received many good reviews so i'm curious about them too smile.gif We don't have one who sell Wellness Core here.. I would love to try it too! smile.gif
post #5 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverleica View Post

Hooray for the grain-free change! I agree with you about the grain..
For the rotation, how about mixing them up in 1 meal? I do that & my kitten loves it! Currently, I am feeding him mixture of Felidae Pure Element & NV's Instinct.. I will switch the Felidae one to Pure Sea if they're finished, & decided to rotate the brand every 3-4months..
I would like to try Orijen & Pinnacles in the future.. They have received many good reviews so i'm curious about them too smile.gif We don't have one who sell Wellness Core here.. I would love to try it too! smile.gif



They already liked Taste Of The Wild.  I had tried one of the Wellness lines before and they liked it pretty good.  So I figured they would like the grain free Wellness Core, as well.  It's expensive!!  Almost $40/bag!!  But as long as they love it and it's better for them... I figure, it's worth it.  I had thought about mixing the kibbles up but never have tried it before... It might be interesting to see how they react to it?  Mine love something and then they get bored with it by the time they finish the bag... So I have to keep changing it up so that they stay eating good.  Paige has put on nearly a pound and it's only the (not quite) second week!!  And Phoebe has not gotten sick once!! 

 

post #6 of 31

I have a question for the repliers as well p3 and the King, I've tried Wellness Core wet food and Now dry food and find that my kitties have extremely smelly and soft stools. My guess is its from all the veggies or maybe the probiotics?. I did some reading and found that it depends on the order of the ingredients and that some foods may contain 5% veggies whereas others 30% if your not careful. I find it frustrating that when you try and go grain free you end up with foods with almost up to 10 different fruits and veggies. Cats are carnivores, not omnivores.  dontknow.gif

 

I have been thinking about Natures Variety Instinct, but I'm waiting to hear back from them about "Montmorillonite Clay" which depending on the type it is, calcium Montmorillonite Clay or sodium Montmorillonite Clay could be deliterious to a cat. There's very little information on the site about it or on google but they do have some great reviews.

 

I have not yet tried TOTW and am worried its going to have to the same effects since it has quite a few fruits and veggies, and what really concerns me is the tomato and raspberries which can cause gastro problems.

 

Has anyone tried any of the frozen raw diets? Or can anyone suggest to me some holistic diets that they highly recommend or to avoid?

 

 

 

 

post #7 of 31
Thread Starter 

Violet, I have noticed the smell too... But, I don't think it has to do with the fruit and veggies- I think it's the higher protein content?  I've noticed that same smell, just more potent with meat or wet food and it was worse with cheaper and off brand kibble.  It's not runny by any means, but softer though formed.  Does that make sense?  I think it's because it's doing its job and it's easier for them to stool because they don't have all the junk fillers to pass.  But, I have also noticed that they don't stool as much as they used to when they were eating a lot of the filler grains involved. I asked my instructors the same question on why cat foods contain veggies and fruits... Here was the answer I was given:

1.) It helps if they have an sensitive stomach. 2.) Some like the taste. 3.) To include a nutrient needed.

 

It could also be your cat?  Possibly this particular diet or food doesn't agree with him/her?  Like I have stated, my Phoebe has a sensitive system and there are just some foods she cannot eat and has to avoid even if she does love them.  I find out new stuff to add to the list all the time.  It's a lot like gambling... Sometimes you get lucky and sometimes you don't.  I try not to gamble with my cats food and health and try to make the best choices possible for all of them so I stick to foods with meats and ingredients I know Phoebe can have and the rest enjoy, too. 

 

Taste Of The Wild... It's a lot like Blue Buffalo's Wilderness line.   Mine really enjoy it.  They especially like the Roasted Venison and Smoked Salmon formula.  But again, it may not be for everyone. 

http://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com/products/cats/dry_food/rocky_mountain_feline_formula/


Edited by P3 and The King - 2/19/12 at 6:05pm
post #8 of 31
Hi, Violet!

May i ask if you change the food gradually & step by step, or not? Usually, when you change your good brand, to the better quality brand, if you do not change it gradually & step by step, it will likely cause stomach upset, because the better quality food have high protein in it & most likely cats will react to it if they just eat good brand quality before, that has just low protein in it. Also, change the food gradually is really recommended, because cats need time to adjust & change the digestive bacteria system in their stomach to new bacteria who suit to digest their new foods.

If you do change gradually but still have soft stool, more likely you change it too fast. Some cats only need around 1-2weeks to fully adjusted to new food, but some cats need up to 4 weeks to fully adjusted.

For the probiotics, i don't think so. Because probiotics in cats, CMIIW, what i know is they help cats to digest their food (if for humans, they could be use to treat constipation) Because even now I feed my kitten with food that contain probiotics, i still feed him a teaspoon of yogurt (or sometimes, Yakult), twice a day & same as P3 said, the stool is smelly (well, all stools! biggrin.gif) but the smell is drastically decrease the time I switch his food. Because when he arrived last December, he's just been fed Friski*s, & the stool is hard, very dark in color & very smelly. While now, his stool is softer, not so dark (good indication because if you feed them raw/cooked meat, the stool color will be brownish light, so this means the food is good for him), and smells great (great if compare to before! biggrin.gif ) & yes, the stool volume is less than before. smile.gif

For the fruits or veggies i think they just mark up the small amount of the kibble. But if my answer up there are all wrong, then you cat must likely reacted to some ingredient in the food. Maybe the fruits, but still don't know because some cats even allergic to venison, or lamb, or beef. Some cats also react to peas, which been used in many holistic brand catfood nowadays as the main source of 'binding agent'.. So, you can't blame directly to the fruits & veggies as the allergens..

For the clay, yes i have also heard of it. That is why i decided to rotate brands in every 3-4months. Not just to reduce the risk & varied his food, I also don't want him to be finicky & depended/like only on 1 brand all of his life.. & i also mix his food because every brand has their plus & minus point. So, i just think about how to do to maximize the food effect to my kitty biggrin.gif

& last thing, how holistic food could be, they still need 'plants' as binding agent. But the choice is up to us as owners to choose which binding agent would you want to feed your cats.. Peas or corn gluten meal. Potatoes or brewers dried rice. Tapioca or whole grain corn.. wink.gif

Hope it helps! rbheart.gif
post #9 of 31

Thanks for your responses.

 

We just got two new cats and aside from the one I already have and I'm trying very hard to find the BEST food for them. In the past, my kitties have been on royal canin, Hills and Medi-cal - vets orders (due to allergies, hyperesthesia or constipation problems) and I would really like these guys to start off on the right foot.

 

One of the kitties we brought home from the SPCA is underweight and we're desperately trying to put weight on her and that's another story in itself, but you might be right p3 and The King because we switched her to the NOW dry food right away because she wasn't eating her Iams and then the other cat would sneak them too so we just put both on them within a week and that could be causing the horrific smell and softer stool.

 

I still feel the same about seeing veggies in my cat food, especially so many. I know that as humans we see this as "healthy" but for an obligate carnivore they have no need for any type of carbohydrate which includes fruits and veggies in their diet. They also lack the enzymes to digest them which is why I am assuming smelly poo = undigestable food.

 

At the same time, you have the pick the lesser of two evils and I would rather my cats getting a few fruits and veggies than grain fillers. However, the most important part is if the protein from the food is coming from plant-based sources or from the meat since plant based protein is considered low grade protein.

 

I'm really hoping Nature's instinct will pull through for me. The food seems pretty decent. I also came across Before Grain Wet food which has very few fruits and veggies as well. So I may try that.

Its just finding a healthy dry food for my picky eater.

 

Hopefully it will all work out! bigwink.gif

 

 

 

 

post #10 of 31
I hope the NV do suits well to your cats! But then, don't put too much high hopes in holistic brand if your picky eater is picky by smell. Because most of those grain-free brand don't have as great smell as good brands one.. Maybe you might need to combine it first with some 'smells good' brand to trigger his appetite..

Hope it helps!
post #11 of 31
I'm sure your cats will enjoy being grain free! biggthumpup.gif

Voiletxx, in answer to your question about commercial raw, you may find this thread (and the forum it's in) helpful: http://www.thecatsite.com/t/239950/questions-about-commercial-raw
post #12 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Violetxx View Post

Thanks for your responses.

 

We just got two new cats and aside from the one I already have and I'm trying very hard to find the BEST food for them. In the past, my kitties have been on royal canin, Hills and Medi-cal - vets orders (due to allergies, hyperesthesia or constipation problems) and I would really like these guys to start off on the right foot.

 

One of the kitties we brought home from the SPCA is underweight and we're desperately trying to put weight on her and that's another story in itself, but you might be right p3 and The King because we switched her to the NOW dry food right away because she wasn't eating her Iams and then the other cat would sneak them too so we just put both on them within a week and that could be causing the horrific smell and softer stool.

 

I still feel the same about seeing veggies in my cat food, especially so many. I know that as humans we see this as "healthy" but for an obligate carnivore they have no need for any type of carbohydrate which includes fruits and veggies in their diet. They also lack the enzymes to digest them which is why I am assuming smelly poo = undigestable food.

 

At the same time, you have the pick the lesser of two evils and I would rather my cats getting a few fruits and veggies than grain fillers. However, the most important part is if the protein from the food is coming from plant-based sources or from the meat since plant based protein is considered low grade protein.

 

I'm really hoping Nature's instinct will pull through for me. The food seems pretty decent. I also came across Before Grain Wet food which has very few fruits and veggies as well. So I may try that.

Its just finding a healthy dry food for my picky eater.

 

Hopefully it will all work out! bigwink.gif

 

 

 

 


The thing is, you are not going to find a grainfree dry food without some sort of veggie or fruit in it.  It's a binding agent, and the FDA feels it adds a nutrient that is needed otherwise, & another instructor offered today that they aid in digestion... Plus it's better for them than the grain. It has very little veggie and fruit content. Just enough of a binding agent or to add something that was taken out of the meat during processing. My suggestion would be, if this is a concern for you... Go to a meat diet.  I give mine semi cooked, no garnishments or preservatives for dinner.  Or you can go raw and find a receipe without any veggies or fruit.  A properly handled and prepared or semi-cooked meat (& raw, too) diet has much less bacteria in it than many commercial dry foods.

 

I have a picky eater, too... So far she is eating and loves both brands.  So far!  Just do not switch immediately.  When you want to try a new food, switch slowly adding just a touch the first time and gradually increasing it the next and so on.  But, I understand about wanting to do right by all of them and have them all on the same page.  I do the same.  I constantly have to switch it up, too.  I've found some I like that they didn't.  Some they like that I wasn't thrilled about.  And some that we all agree on.  Best of luck!!

 

post #13 of 31

Hi fellow holistic cat food feeders,

 

I just heard back from Nature's Variety Instinct and I have some bad news that I thought may be worth sharing. They use the dangerous type of Montmorillonite Clay in their dog and cat food, i.e. sodium Montmorillonite Clay also known as Bentonite. They claim that it is in only 2% of the food, however in the canned formulas its the 6th ingredient so I'm not sure how accurate that is. In case your not familar with sodium montmorillonite clay it used in cosmetics, plaster, cat litter and cement tiles to name a few. The "healthy" type of montmorillonite clay is calcium montmorillonite clay which is used as a detoxifer and to treat many ailments such as diarrhea, stomach ulcers, anemia, etc. because of its high mineral content unfortunately that's not what they're using.

 

 

We've put the picky eater on kitten food to help her gain weight and found out that she likes her red meats better than poultry so were feeding her venison and/or beef at the moment. I came across Before Grain and Merricks canned food and I am pretty content with them for holistic brand with not so many fruits and veggies.

 

 

 

 

post #14 of 31

OMG!  So should I stop feeding Nature's variety canned???  I have beeing feeding lots of them...

Why do they use the bad Montmorillonite Clay?  Don't they know it's bad?

post #15 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by space1101 View Post

OMG!  So should I stop feeding Nature's variety canned???  I have beeing feeding lots of them...

Why do they use the bad Montmorillonite Clay?  Don't they know it's bad?


No just go on the site and see if your cans fall in the recall.  If not, they are most likely fine. 

 

Violet, thank you for the information recall update.  I always check before I go anywhere to buy food and Petco is pretty good about checking too and take them all off the shelves so they are not even available.  Luckily Taste Of The Wild has been pretty good about being clean so far and Wellness Core, too, with the exception of once.  I don't think it affected the grain free, though? Well, it was never off the shelves.  And it's yet another reason I choose to feed mine semi cooked meat for their main meals.  Sometimes you just can't know for sure what is in pet food... But, it's the same with human food, too.  Do we really know what is in processed foods? 
 

 

post #16 of 31

That's odd that you were told it was sodium and not calcium, I was told the opposite in my training... I'm going to email my supervisor and double check though. 

 

EDITED TO ADD: I just got word back from my supervisor, it is NOT sodium montmorillonite clay that is in Nature's Variety. It IS calcium montmorillonite clay


Edited by nerdrock - 2/22/12 at 1:41pm
post #17 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by nerdrock View Post

That's odd that you were told it was sodium and not calcium, I was told the opposite in my training... I'm going to email my supervisor and double check though. 

EDITED TO ADD: I just got word back from my supervisor, it is NOT sodium montmorillonite clay that is in Nature's Variety. It IS calcium montmorillonite clay

Thank you for checking on this for us - and correcting the information. agree.gif
post #18 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post


Thank you for checking on this for us - and correcting the information. :nod:


No problem!

post #19 of 31

 

Hi guys,

 

Here is the email they sent me. This also has nothing to do with a recall, they use the ingredient currently.

 

Thank you for e-mailing! 

 

Montmorillonite Clay is one of the most effective natural intestinal detoxifying agents available. Montmorillonite Clay contains minerals that, once inside the gastrointestinal tract, are able to absorb toxins and deliver mineral nutrients. The clay is eventually eliminated from the body with the toxins bound to its multiple surfaces. The benefits reported by people using Montmorillonite Clay are improved intestinal regularity; relief from chronic constipation, diarrhea, indigestion, and ulcers; increased physical energy; enhanced alertness; emotional uplift; improved tissue and gum repair; and increased resistance to infections. Our diets contain LESS than 2% of Montmorillonite Clay, so it is a very small amount.

 

The Montmorillonite Clay used in our diets is a sodium clay not calcium clay.

 
Sincerely,
Shannon
 
Customer Service
Nature's Variety
1-888-519-7387
 
 
I'm not really sure what to think to be honest. She wrote sodium, Nerdrock said calcium. I guess the choice of feeding the food is at your own discretion. May be someone else could email them and see what reply they get?
post #20 of 31

What the customer service person wrote to you contradicts itself. Sodium montmorillonite clay doesn't really have any of those benefits and it's not for human consumption. I think that they probably read their material wrong, or didn't know, so they just picked one. I'm not saying for sure that's what happened, but I went through all of my notes yesterday before emailing my supervisor and everything said calcium montmorillonite clay (notes from webinars, training information, etc), then I emailed my supervisor to double check and she said that it is definitely calcium montmorillionite clay. 

 

post #21 of 31

 

@Nerdrock- I noticed that myself. However, I'm confused as well, because I didn't mention sodium to them in my question so for her to bring up is very interesting. Here is what I sent to them:

 

I am interested in switching to your pet food brand, however I am concerned with the ingredient "Montmorillonite Clay". The explanation you have in your ingredient list is very vague and does not tell me very much. Other than this ingredient I find that your Instinct foods seem be very high quality and I will highly recommend them to others if I can find out more about this ingredient. Are you adding calcium montmorillonite clay to your foods?

 

 

I am hoping you are correct, because I quite happy with the ingredients in the food otherwise, but to be safe I am not feeding it to them until I know more. When you say you checked with your supervisor, what type of supervisor are you referring to?

post #22 of 31
Nerdrock, you may want to forward the info to your supervisor, so someone can correct Shannon in Customer Service.
post #23 of 31
Thread Starter 

Myself, I don't mess with emails when I have the option to call.  In an email it is easy to appear calm and have time to think about your response even if it is total BS.  On the phone, I believe you get a more honest response.  I have called Blue Buffalo headquarters; Wellness headquarters (the same company I believe as Blue Buffalo, I could be mistaken, though.  Maybe they are just really near eachother?); Taste Of The Wild headquarters, etc... I was not impressed with Nature's Balance they have no idea what they are talking about.  They fumbled their words a lot.  But the others mentioned were very thorough and happy to tell you all about what is in the product and why.  They may not match your thinking but they will tell you why they feel it is a good ingredient.

post #24 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post

Nerdrock, you may want to forward the info to your supervisor, so someone can correct Shannon in Customer Service.


I have forwarded that to her. She's in Nova Scotia right now training some new demonstrators so she might be a bit slow to respond. 



Quote:
Originally Posted by Violetxx View Post

 

@Nerdrock- I noticed that myself. However, I'm confused as well, because I didn't mention sodium to them in my question so for her to bring up is very interesting. Here is what I sent to them:

 

I am interested in switching to your pet food brand, however I am concerned with the ingredient "Montmorillonite Clay". The explanation you have in your ingredient list is very vague and does not tell me very much. Other than this ingredient I find that your Instinct foods seem be very high quality and I will highly recommend them to others if I can find out more about this ingredient. Are you adding calcium montmorillonite clay to your foods?

 

 

I am hoping you are correct, because I quite happy with the ingredients in the food otherwise, but to be safe I am not feeding it to them until I know more. When you say you checked with your supervisor, what type of supervisor are you referring to?



She's part of the representative team for the company, before she got back to me she double checked with her manager. I can't see why they would use sodium montmorillonite clay in the food when they are so careful with everything else to make sure that it's not genetically modified and that the meats are antibiotic and hormone free... the montmorillonite clay packaging that they showed us in our training was definitely the calcium montmorillonite clay too. This is just odd. 

 

post #25 of 31

Well shoot I appreciate you both looking into the clay ingredient for us. I had fed one can of NVI before I read this about the clay.

post #26 of 31

@Nedrock - Thanks for clarifying that for me, I didn't realize you worked for them. I'm so glad they use the calcium Mont. clay, that's a relief.

 

@P3 and the King - I don't completely agree with that. Email is a legitimate way of obtaining information especially in today's day in age. It also gives you a chance to think about want you want to say before you send it out, which is why everyone is so surprised about what she sent me. As was I. Yes you may lose emotion, however its a way of getting a copy of something someone stated. I'm sure if I said I called them, people would be less reluctant to believe me especially on a blog where nobody knows anything about me other than that we all share a love for cats and want to learn more and teach others about them. There is also less of a chance that I would mix up my information b/c its documented. And in this generation, email/internet (i.e. this blog) is one of the main ways of passing on knowledge.

 

@Hobo08 - No worries. I'm just glad that its all cleared up and that no animals are being harmed by it, that was my worst fear. Especially when there's such little information out their on it.

post #27 of 31
Thread Starter 

Update:  Getting back to the topic... Things are going great on the new diet!!  They seem to like Taste Of The Wild better as it seems to be gone through faster.  Who can blame them?  It does sound pretty good when you read it!  Wellness is an OK rating with them.  I am looking into other grain free and top rated that they might like a little better, though. 

 

So far, Paige has put on nearly 2 pounds!!  I am so happy to see her eating and not picking at her food anymore!!  Less waste to clean up and not as much hairballs either it seems. 

post #28 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by P3 and The King View Post

Update:  Getting back to the topic... Things are going great on the new diet!!  They seem to like Taste Of The Wild better as it seems to be gone through faster.  Who can blame them?  It does sound pretty good when you read it!  Wellness is an OK rating with them.  I am looking into other grain free and top rated that they might like a little better, though. 

 

So far, Paige has put on nearly 2 pounds!!  I am so happy to see her eating and not picking at her food anymore!!  Less waste to clean up and not as much hairballs either it seems. 


Glad it is going well for you and the kitties! I do suggest you see if they like the Earthborn Holistic foods. Either the Primitive Feline formula http://www.earthbornholisticpetfood.com/us/cat_formulas/primitive_feline/

or the Wild Sea Catch formula http://www.earthbornholisticpetfood.com/us/cat_formulas/wild_sea_catch/.

Hobo loves the Wild Sea Catch.
 

 

post #29 of 31
Quote:
Originally Posted by Violetxx View Post

@Nedrock - Thanks for clarifying that for me, I didn't realize you worked for them. I'm so glad they use the calcium Mont. clay, that's a relief.


Yup! I'm a product demonstrator, so I know quite a bit about the foods that they make. Anything that I don't know, I can usually get the answer pretty quickly. I prefer to go straight to my boss, the customer service people don't always know the full answer and I imagine their job can be quite stressful (if you've ever worked customer service, especially in a call center, you probably know that, lol). Not that that's an excuse for misinformation or anything... if you have any questions, feel free to PM me. 

post #30 of 31
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hobo08 View Post


Glad it is going well for you and the kitties! I do suggest you see if they like the Earthborn Holistic foods. Either the Primitive Feline formula http://www.earthbornholisticpetfood.com/us/cat_formulas/primitive_feline/

or the Wild Sea Catch formula http://www.earthbornholisticpetfood.com/us/cat_formulas/wild_sea_catch/.

Hobo loves the Wild Sea Catch.
 

 


Thank you, I will look into those suggestions!!
 

 

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